Bacteria Can Cause Acne, But Can It Heal It?

If Jamie Lee Curtis has taught us anything, it’s that probiotics are some serious stuff. But if these “good bacteria” are the cure for all our tummy woes, is it possible they too could be the cure for all our skin care concerns too?

Is it possible that all our efforts to kill the bacteria on our faces in the quest for clear skin have done more harm than good?

Turns out, the answer is yes.

In the New York Times, columnist Julia Scott took part in what she calls, “My No-Soap, No-Shampoo, Bacteria-Rich Hygiene Experiment,” which is, well, exactly what it sounds like: a 4-week run without cleansing of any kind. Instead: she sprayed herself with a specific bacteria to cleanse and deodorize.

Greasy hair aside, Scott notes, “My skin began to change for the better. It actually became softer and smoother, rather than dry and flaky, as though a sauna’s worth of humidity had penetrated my winter-hardened shell. And my complexion, prone to hormone-related breakouts, was clear. For the first time ever, my pores seemed to shrink. As I took my morning “shower” — a three-minute rinse in a bathroom devoid of hygiene products — I remembered all the antibiotics I took as a teenager to quell my acne. How funny it would be if adding bacteria were the answer all along.”

Yet the idea of treating “like with like” isn’t new. In fact, it’s the basis of all homeopathic remedies.

Kinda makes me think of the girls I knew in college who said washing their faces made them breakout. Maybe they were onto something (other than laziness)… (Although let’s be clear here that removing makeup is most definitely a must!)

Sure some beauty brands have already jumped on this bandwagon (Clinique and L’Oreal, most notably), but as Scott explain, it’s unclear of their effect when processed in such a way as to suspend them in cosmetics. And the yogurt based soap she examines has sodium laurel sulfates as the second ingredient, the most stripping of cleansers, fully counteracting any benefits the probiotics could potentially have.

Don’t want to wait for beauty brands to jump on the probiotic bandwagon? You don’t have to! The plain yogurt found in your fridge is chockfull of the skin-clearning microbes. Just apply a thin layer (ideally of full-fat yogurt for its moisturizing benefits too) and let it dry. Your existing acne will not only appear immediately less red and inflamed but you’ll also be balancing the bacteria on your skin for less breakouts in the future too.

For more DIY beauty remedies using the power of probiotics, order The Recipe For Radiance: Discover Beauty’s Best-Kept Secrets In Your Kitchen today!